Robitussin For Dogs Suffering With Kennel Cough And Congestion

(redirects here from dextromethorphan)

Please read this information carefully before using Robitussin for dogs with congestion and coughs. This page contains details about the usage of Robitussin as a treatment option for controlling kennel cough, safety precautions and more.

Robitussin is one of the most popular OTC cough medications in the world, and enjoys widespread use across the United States in particular. But whilst it’s commonly used in humans, can the drug also be used to relieve symptoms in man’s best friend? Please be aware that Robitussin is simply a brand name, and as such, each product may contain different ingredients to the one we want if we plan on giving it to our dogs. The active ingredient which is effective and safe in the treatment of dogs is “dextromethorphan” sometimes abbreviated as “DXM” or simply “DM”.

Robitussin dosage for dogs

When treating dogs for coughs, you will want to use the dextromethorphan version of Robitussin, often marketed as “Robitussin DM”. In pill form, the correct dosage would be 0.5 mg per pound administered each 12 hours. For example, a 40 lb dog would need 20 mg of Robitussin DM two times a day. If you use liquid Robitussin, the concentration is often included on the bottle, most commonly 2 mg/ml, the goal dosage that you will want to administer to your pet remains the same.

Is Robitussin safe for dogs?

Whilst not FDA approved, dextromethorphan-based Robitussin is commonly prescribed by vets for the treatment of dogs suffering with coughs and congestion. There are also several precautions you should take when thinking of using Robitussin DM to treat your pet. It’s usually better to use the pill form of most drugs due to the alcohol content of liquid medicines though you may prefer to soak your dog’s food in the correct dosage of Robitussin as your dog is more likely to consume the medication this way. Though you can buy this medicine over-the-counter, you should only ever use this drug under the approval and guidance of your vet.

Safety precautions:


  • Do not use this drug if your dog’s cough is caused by heart disease, you may need a check up to rule this out
  • Do not mix Robitussin with tranquilizers, sedatives or barbiturates
  • Make sure the product does not contain ibuprofen or paracetamol
  • Never use alongside MAO inhibitors (MAOIs)

Robitussin is often safe for the use in dogs, but you must first see a vet before using the medicine for a formal diagnosis on the cause of your dog’s cough. If your dog needs to cough to clear mucous, surpressing the reflex could be dangerous. MAO inhibitors are to be avoided, such drugs include Anipryl and several anti-depressants. The reason this combination should be avoided is due to the fact that MAOIs will potentiate the effects of the drug, leading to possibly dangerous overdose symptoms. If your dog’s ailment persists after treatment go back to the vet.

Uses of Robitussin for dogs

Robitussin is often used to treat:

  • Coughing (e.g. kennel cough)
  • Congestion

Just like in people, Robitussin (dextromethorphan) is most commonly used to control coughing and is amongst the most effective drugs available for kennel cough.

Side effects when giving Robitussin to your dog

Commonly, your dog will become sleepy when on Robitussin. Other side effects which you should seek veterinary attention for includes dry heaving. You should seek emergency care in the case of any serious unanticipated sides to avoid symptoms getting worse.

Information about Robitussin
Hydrocone for cough supression in severe cases